The following post was made in collaboration with Lauren Schulte of @TheBiteSizePantry. and Beckon Ice Cream. Product was provided by Beckon and post and photography were provided courtesy of Lauren Schulte.
This is not your ordinary ice cream social, but it will surely get you and your guests socializing. Super simple to set up, I’ve created an ice cream bar with Beckon Ice Cream that will allow your guests to customize their own frozen creation inside of a brownie boat!
How to Make the Brownie Boats
For the brownie boats, I used Betty Crocker gluten-free boxed brownie mix, which I found in the “cake and spice” aisle at our local Heinen’s. I love that Betty Crocker offers gluten-free options that taste great so that all guests are safe to indulge in the fun. Simply follow the directions for baking the brownies on the back of the box. I gauged the baking time based on a 9×9 aluminum baking pan.
For this recipe, I used a large muffin tin. If you wish to make brownie batter from scratch, that would be great too! Just make sure not to over bake the brownies and remove them from the oven when they start to form that glorious crust on top. You can easily check to see if they’re done by sticking a toothpick into the center and if it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs stuck to it, they’re done.
Once the muffin tin brownies are done baking, remove the tin from your oven and take the bottom of your ice cream scoop and gently press down in the middle of each brownie to form a “shallowish” divot. This is where the ice cream will go. A trick I like to use when baking to get the sweet treat to slide out easily is to coat each slot with a light dusting of flour before filling with the batter. The flour coating should prevent the batter from sticking to the side while baking, making removal a breeze. I also spray each slot with cooking spray before dusting them with flour.
After the brownie muffins have cooled off, flip the tin over giving it a good shake. The brownie boats should slide right out. If a couple get stuck, simply run a knife or small spatula around the outside edge and tap the bottom of the tin on your counter before flipping over and trying again. Now that the brownie boats are done, let’s get this ice cream party started!!
How to Build the Ice Cream Boat
Beckon Ice Cream is a dairy-full, lactose-free ice cream that classic taste of the cold treat we love! I never used to have an issue with dairy, but not that I’m in my 30’s, I’ve noticed that my dietary needs have changed a bit. Now, I’m by no means lactose intolerant, but that doesn’t mean this delicious ice cream isn’t for me or you! I would buy this brand over others because of the love and care that goes into each pint. Developed by two women in Boston with a mutual love for ice cream and dietary issues with lactose and dairy, they found a way to create ice cream that doesn’t make your gut scream!
So when setting up your ice cream boat bar, you’ll need the following:
- A large long shallowish dish (I actually used a clean garden planter)
- A large bag of crushed ice to pour over and around each pint in the serving dish
- 4-6 wooden or metal grilling skewers
- Foam art sheets, which you can find at any local craft store (You can also use construction paper, scissors, tape, cooking twine and 6-8 smaller bowls for the ice cream toppings)
For the masts and sails of the ship, you’ll want to cut the foam or construction paper into triangles with the tops cut off. These should be different sizes as most ship’s sails have larger on the bottom and smaller at the top. Next, you’ll take the sharp end of your grilling skewer and poke a hole in the top of the sail and weave it through the bottom by poking another hole. I recommend doing the smaller sail first and move it up to the top to make room to thread the larger sail. Once you have all of your masts and sails complete, you are now ready to assemble the ice cream boat bar.
How to Assemble your Ice Cream Boat Bar
Place your Beckon Ice Cream pints in your serving dish, making sure to leave room between for the ice. Beckon’s Chocolate, Mint Chip and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip are my go-to flavors.
Pour your crushed ice into the serving dish, making sure to cover the sides of each pint so that they don’t melt. When you’re ready, remove the tops of each pint, and place them on the table in front of each pint in the serving dish. This will help to ensure your guests know their flavor options. Next, you’ll take each of your masts and stick them into the ice in between each pint of Beckon Ice Cream. The ice should help to hold each mast in place, but to make sure they don’t sail away, take the cooking twine and tie it around the top of each mast. Using the tape, secure each end of the cooking twine on the inside of each end of the serving dish.
You’re almost ready to party! Now that you’ve got your Beckon boat all done, you can fill your smaller dishes with your favorite toppings. I chose Red Hot candies, sprinkles, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Campbell’s Carmel Green Apple popcorn, but you can use whatever fixings you like. Now it’s time to take your brownie boat cups and set them on a serving tray next to your Beckon boat and let your guests set sail for a dessert cruise they’ll always remember.